Irish striker Shane Long scores first goal in nine months as Southampton revival continues

Irish striker Shane Long scores first goal in nine months as Southampton revival continues

IRELAND striker Shane Long scored his first goal in nine months as Southampton’s revival under Ralph Hasenhüttl continued with a 2-1 victory over Leicester.

Long’s last goal came in the 3-2 defeat to Arsenal on April 8, 2018, after which he went 22 games without scoring for the Saints.

His strike today came in first-half injury time after Jamie Ward-Prowse’s opener at the King Power Stadium, the goals coming either side of teammate Yan Valery’s dismissal.

Wilfrid Ndidi’s second-half reply set up a nervy finish for Saints, but they hung on for the win that lifts them out of the relegation zone.

Rise of Rice

Earlier in the day Declan Rice opened his account for West Ham, his goal in the 1-0 over Arsenal taking the side to eighth in the Premier League table.

Rice is still to make a decision on his international future, but he looks settled at the London Stadium, having recently penned a new five-and-a-half-year contract with the Hammers.

Rice celebrates his goal against Arsenal (Image: Getty)

His superb finish saw club manager Manuel Pellegrini describe him as ‘the complete player’, while consigning the Gunners to a third league defeat in six games.

Jeff Hendrick helped Burnley continue their revival, setting up both of his side’s goals in a 2-1 win over Fulham.

After trailing 1-0 to Andre Schurrle’s opener, Hendrick’s 20th-minute drive was turned into his own net by Joe Bryan.

Just two minutes later a Hendrick cross from the right was headed in by Denis Odoi for a second own goal.

Fulham deflected two Jeff Hendrick strikes into their own goal (Image: Getty)

Elsewhere in the Premier league, Shane Duffy’s Brighton fell to a 1-0 defeat to Premier League title chasers Liverpool, while Harry Arter helped Cardiff to a scoreless draw with Huddersfield that lifts them out of the relegation zone.

Golden McGoldrick

In the Championship, David McGoldrick’s first-half header was enough to see off QPR and move the Blades into the second automatic promotion spot following Norwich’s 1-1 draw at West Brom.

That’s 10 league goals already for McGoldrick this season, who managed just 20 in his four previous seasons with Ipswich.

David McGoldrick, right, celebrates his winner for Sheffield United with international teammate Enda Stevens (Image: Getty)

It was disappointment for the other half of the city though, Kieren Westwood conceding three goals as Sheffield Wednesday went down 3-0 at Hull.

The Owls have now won just three of their past 15 league games.

Fellow keeper Darren Randolph meanwhile helped Middlesbrough to a 2-1 win at Birmingham City, consolidating their position in the playoff places.

Irish Villans punished

At the DW Stadium, Irishman Anthony Pilkington set up Gary Roberts’ opener for Wigan as they thumped Aston Villa 3-0.

Conor Hourihane started for the visitors while Glenn Whelan was introduced at 1-0, however the wheels are starting to come off Dean Smith’s push for a playoff place.